Shortage of teachers hampers academic activities at CoU

Published : 22 Nov 2023 11:53 PM

In Comilla University, Mass Communication and Journalism Department is one of 19 departments. Out of 8 teachers in this department, 4 teachers are on educational leave and one is on maternity leave. The activities of the Department are going on with the remaining 3 teachers.

The situation is the same in the rest of the 17 Departments of the university. Out of total 266 teachers of the university, 93 teachers are on educational leave. As a result, many other departments such as Mass Communication and Journalism are continuing their education programmes with the shortage of teachers.

The university is lagging behind in international standards of teacher-student ratio due to non-recruitment of a significant number of teachers against teachers on study leave. The minimum standard of average teacher-student ratio in higher education institutions worldwide is 1:20. But as per UGC's 48th annual report, there are 266 teachers against 6,384 students. Which is a ratio of 1:24.

Besides, according to the Public University Teaching Load Calculation Policy (General) 2022, the weekly working hours of a teacher will be 40. These working hours will consist of contact hours and non-contact hours. Out of 40 hours a teacher will spend an average of 13 hours as contact hours. But weekly contact hours of Head of Department/Institute shall be 6 hours.

But due to the shortage of teachers in Comilla University, the teaching load of the working teachers is excessive. Students complain that many teachers are busy with multiple courses and are completing the courses with few classes. As a result, many things remain unknown even after the course is over.

In this regard, the professor of Chemistry Department, Mohammad Syedur Rahman said, 'some universities in Bangladesh have rules regarding academic leave, but not in Comilla University. As a result, the university is facing a shortage of teachers. In addition, the pressure on other teachers at work is increasing. It is a problem of management of the university administration. This issue should be resolved quickly by making separate rules for educational leave and creating new posts from the UGC.'

Head of Department of Chemistry Prof Dr. A. K. M. Raihan Uddin said, 'We have asked the administration to appoint teachers for the department. But due to non-granting of UGC posts, the administration is also unable to make any appointments. If you get a post from UGC, the shortage of teachers will be greatly reduced.'

He added, 'Many teachers get good scholarships for higher education. Recommendations also go from the Department. When the teacher talks about the crisis and does not give a recommendation, a kind of anger also works in the teacher. Don't want to work neither the administration nor we have any choice. Now new positions are needed to overcome the crisis.'

Mahmudul Hasan Raju, Dean of Engineering Faculty and head of CSE Department, said, 'There is a shortage of teachers in our department. To overcome this shortage of teachers, our department needs to recruit teachers quickly. We are demanding from the UGC and the Ministry of Education through the authorities to give the posts of teachers in our department as soon as possible. The teacher-student ratio in the department will also be preserved through new recruitment.

Head of Department of Mass Communication and Journalism Kazi M. Anisul Islam said, 'The university administration has asked the UGC for the post. I hope the department will overcome the shortage of teachers if the UGC give posts.'

In this regard, the vice-chancellor professor D. A F M Abdul Moyeen said, 'There has been a shortage of teachers in the university for several years. In this year some more teachers have gone abroad for higher education. Those teachers who were not coming back even after higher education, contact them and ask them to come back. The posts held by many of those who did not come have been vacated by settling their dues, while the remaining posts are being vacated along with settling their dues.'

He also said, 'I have made a special request to the UGC to fill the vacancies of teachers who have gone abroad this year and have continued to communicate with them. In that context, UGC has given us those 7 posts this month. I thank UGC for that. Applications have been made for some more posts. Hope we get more posts soon. I hope that the crisis in our posts for many years will be greatly reduced.'

When contacted Mohammad Zaminur Rahman, Director of Public University Management Department of the University Grants Commission, asked this correspondent to talk to the university authorities. Besides, he also said, “It is not like they are not giving posts. The post has been given a few days ago.”